Far Cry is primarily a series of First-Person Shooter video games developed by Ubisoft. The first work in the series was made by Crytek and published by Ubisoft, but subsequent entries are made entirely by Ubisoft due to a legal dispute, from which Ubisoft emerged with rights to the Far Cry name, whereas Crytek kept the engine they developed for it. Crytek eventually developed their own Spiritual Successor to the original Far Cry, Crysis.
The games are known for featuring Wide-Open Sandbox gameplay in a wild environment, where players can encounter animals, drive vehicles, and fight enemies. The environments featured in the games are exotic and beautiful, ranging from Pacific islands to the forests of Africa and the mountains of the Himalaya.
Outside of console-only spinoffs to the original game, Far Cry is a Thematic Series where the games do not share a common story, main characters (only a few secondary characters), and settings. Past the first game, the series' main theme can be summed up as "War Is Hell, but Violence is Fun". The games all take a look at escalated military conflict and extremism, examining how the two often go hand in hand.
The series also notes how the incredible levels of carnage you inflict, while fun (and sometimes productive) are incredibly horrific when examined from an objective perspective, and how often times solving issues with violence only leads to more violence. The protagonists are often forced to continue doing terrible things to survive and win (that are just as awesome as they are disquieting), and the games often draw parallels between the protagonists and their villains, and how both are linked through violence.
NOTE: The Far Cry video games are completely unrelated to the novel of the same name.
Far Cry media:
- Far Cry (2004): Jack Carver, a retired US Special Forces operative, is hired to escort a journalist to a tropical island in the Pacific for unknown reasons. Once there, his boat is blown up, and he's left stranded on the island with a number of trigger-happy mercenaries out to kill him as well as mutant creatures.
- Far Cry Instincts (2005): A retelling of the PC game for the original Xbox with the addition of "feral" powers.
- Far Cry Instincts: Evolution (2006): A sequel to Instincts. Carver is hired to help a mysterious woman in another Pacific Island. There he's forced to fight against a dictatorial army and a cult of mercenaries that also possess feral powers.
- Far Cry Instincts: Predator (2006) An Updated Re-release of Evolution for the Xbox 360.
- Far Cry Vengeance (2006): A sort-of remake of Evolution for the Wii. With the same basic story and characters but with a different ending.
- Far Cry: Paradise Lost (2007): An arcade adaption built off of Instincts and running on the same engine as Aliens Extermination. No, really.
- Far Cry Classic (2014): A re-release of the original PC game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It includes some changes such as new weapon models, an increased health pool and the ability to ADS (Aim-Down-Sights).
- Far Cry 2 (2008): Set somewhere in Central Africa during a military conflict between two rival armies, the player character (one of multiple that you can pick) arrives in Africa to find and kill an arms dealer wanted for international war crimes known as the Jackal. Due to being infected with malaria upon arrival, the protagonist must work for the two sides to pay for his medication — all the while instigating the conflict further.
- Far Cry 3 (2012): Set in the fictional Rook Islands in Southeast Asia, this game once again stars a set protagonist in Jason Brody, a young rich American, whose vacation to the aforementioned islands goes arwy when he's ambushed by a group of pirates led by the insane Vaas Montenegro. Jason finds himself allying with the natives to save his friends, but a combination of stress, drugs, and native rituals begins to cloud his mind, and he slowly finds himself slipping away into anger and bloodshed.
- Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (2013): A Retraux throwback intentionally molded after cheap 80's B-Movies. Originally intended to be a DLC expansion, it soon took on a life of its own and was released as a standalone product. The plot follows Sergeant Rex "Power" Colt, a badass cyborg soldier on a mission to take down his AWOL CO.
- Far Cry 3 Classic (2018): A single-player only re-release of the game for Eighth Generation consoles. Originally a bonus from Far Cry 5's season pass.
- Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon Classic (2021): A single-player only re-release of Blood Dragon for Eighth Gen consoles. Originally a bonus from Far Cry 6's season pass.
- Far Cry 4 (2014): Set in the fictional Himalayan country of Kyrat, a young Kyrati-American named Ajay Ghale returns to the country to scatter his mother's ashes. Only one problem: the country is currently in the middle of a civil war between the tyrannical Pagan Min Royal Army, and a resistance group known as the Golden Path. Ajay finds himself allying with the Path, and begins learning of his deep family connection to the Golden Path, the country of Kyrat itself, and most importantly — to the self-proclaimed king of Kyrat, Pagan Min.
- Far Cry Primal (2016): Rather than a modern setting, this installment is set in the distant past during the early Mesolithic. The player character is Takkar, a hunter for the Wenja tribe, who is attempting to settle the valley of Oros in what is now Central Europenote . Unfortunately, Oros is already inhabited by other hostile tribes, including cannibals and slavers, and they won't leave without a fight.
- Far Cry 5 (2018): Taking the series back into the modern day, this game also reintroduces a non-set player character, now with full customization. The plot follows a young rookie Junior Deputy in being stranded in fictional Hope County, Montana, a county currently under the oppressive and violent rule of the Project at Eden's Gate, an Apocalypse Cult with dangerous intentions led by the deranged Joseph "The Father" Seed.
- Far Cry: New Dawn (2019): A narrative sequel to 5, the game takes place in post-apocalyptic Hope County 17 years after the events of 5. It follows your character, the Captain of Security for a resistance leader, being thrust into a war between future society and a faction of anarchists known as the Highwaymen, led by the Twins, Mickey and Lou.
- Far Cry 6 (2021): Set in the nation of Yara, a fictional Caribbean/Cuban-inspired tropical island, this installment follows Dani Rojas, a young local who reluctantly joins the fight to liberate the country from the oppressive regime of its dictator, Antón Castillo, played & portrayed by Giancarlo Esposito.
Films, television, and web series
- Far Cry (2008): A movie adaptation of the first game, made by the controversial director Uwe Boll.
- The Far Cry Experience (2012): A prequel set shortly before 3, Christopher Mintz-Plasse is captured by Vaas Montenegro and his pirates while filming a documentary on the Rook Islands.
- Far Cry 5: Inside Eden's Gate (2018): A prequel film set before Far Cry 5.
- Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix (2023): An animated series partially inspired by Blood Dragon.
Books and comics
- Far Cry: Gotterdammerung (2007): A novelization of the first game.
- Far Cry 2: Bloody Diamonds (2008): A prequel to the second game.
- Far Cry Absolution (2018): A prequel to 5.
- Far Cry: Rite of Passage (2021): A comic book series with Antón Castillo relating the stories of the previous antagonists in the series (Vaas Montenegro, Pagan Min, and Joseph Seed) as cautionary tales to Diego on his 13th birthday.
- Far Cry Esperanzas Tears (Fr:2021, En:2022): A Graphic Novel about Juan Cortez before the events of 6.
- Far Cry Cull The Herd (2024): The priestess Batari from Primal summons villains from other entries to prehistoric times including Antón Castillo, Vaas Montenegro and Pagan Min.
Tropes found across the franchise:
- Artifact Title: Dr. Krieger's Evil Plan in the original Far Cry was dubbed "Project Far Cry". As every following installment has nothing to do with mutated humans or primates, needless to say, the title is a remnant.
- Canon Identifier: The series tends to Zig Zag the trope. The first, third, fourth, and sixth games have fairly fleshed out and named protagonists, but:
- Far Cry 2 features one of 12 potential player characters collectively called "The Mercenaries" (the rest of which occasionally pop up to offer bonus objectives). Since there's no set canon for which of them the player picks, and therefore which of them kills the rest in a shootout in the finale so they can do something vaguely more heroic than just take the money and run, the PC is typically just called The Mercenary. All part of driving home that the player is just another faceless asshole taking advantage of the war in the country it's set in.
- Far Cry 5 puts the player in the shoes of a lawman who's been sent to arrest the Big Bad. Unlike the previous two entries, they're a blank slate who only ever goes by The Deputy.
- Far Cry: New Dawn has you playing as the Captain of Security for Thomas Rush, or Cap for short, as dubbed by Carmina Rye.
- Central Theme:
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
- Enemy factions have a tendency to wear red, just in case you can't tell who you're supposed to be shooting at. Aversions include Far Cry 2, in which a good 99% of the world is trying to kill you, so there's no need to color code, and Far Cry 5, where the Project at Eden's Gate tend to wear mostly white, if not black. Hunters do wear red balaclavas, however.
- On the flip side, the friendly factions tend to wear blue. Similarly, 2 and 5 are aversions in which your very few buddies (mostly being the mercenaries you didn't choose as your Player Character) wear their own unique outfits in the former and the Resistance either wears civvies or improvised camo (the Whitetail Militia) in the latter.
- Crapsaccharine World: The environments of the series are breathtakingly beautiful. They are also occupied by the worst humanity has to offer.
- Crapsack World: The world of Far Cry is unpleasant to say the very least, with various locations being torn by conflicts, subject to the whims of brutal dictators, drug lords, pirates, slavers, and cult leaders, while the rebels that fight them often aren't much better. At best, the conflicts end in a bittersweet way. At their worst, they don't end at all, or end in disaster for both sides.
- Darker and Edgier: The Instincts storyline is noticeably darker than the original Far Cry, with all the characters generally being much bigger jerks. Likewise, Far Cry 2 and Far Cry 3 have notably darker, more serious storylines than the first game.
- Developing Nations Lack Cities: With the exception of the first game, the fictional settings are portrayed as only towns and villages with no cities. Far Cry 6 is the first game to have a city and urban warfare.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: Far Cry games from 2 onwards are set in the "real world" and have reasonably grounded plots. Far Cry 1 is about battling a Bond Villain scientist and his army of genetically engineered mutants. Also, Far Cry 1 is a linear FPS (although its levels are relatively less enclosed than most of other examples in the genre), while the rest of the games belong to the Wide-Open Sandbox genre. The way Far Cry 1 feels and plays is also a lot closer to the Crysis series than any of the sequels. This is not that surprising, since it is the only Far Cry title to have actually been developed by Crytek - the sequels are not only published by Ubisoft, but also developed in-house. The reason for Crytek switching to the Crysis series in the first place was the retention of the Far Cry brand rights by Ubisoft.
- Gaiden Game: Almost became a trend in the series, as 3 and 4 were followed by Blood Dragon and Primal, games that were almost totally unrelated to the major numbered entry apart from reusing the engine and basic mechanics. 5 broke with the trend by having a direct sequel in New Dawn, but did include DLC expansions that were very much in the spirit of its forerunners, such as a Vietnam adventure or fighting cyborg arachnids on Mars.
- Limited Loadout: The player is restricted to three or four guns depending on the game. In some cases, like in 3, holsters need to be crafted in order to even carry a second weapon. Some titles even restrict what kind of weapons can be carried in which slot, with 2, 4, and 6 having dedicated sidearm slots.
- Machete Mayhem: The series' mascot melee weapon has been the machete - the original game gave you a kukri, and the next two give it a separate slot for a more traditional machete that can only be traded out for another melee weapon. The fourth game brings back the kukri, and a pre-order bonus allows you to use the third game's machete in the Arena. Averted in the fifth game and its direct sequel, in which there are no bladed weapons (useable by you, anyway) and your blade is actually a weaponized railroad spike, respectively.
- Meaningful Name: The title comes from the idea that the locations and settings the protagonists find themselves in are a "far cry" from what they're used to.
- Mushroom Samba: Far Cry 3, 4, 5, and New Dawn all contain a lot of hallucinations, some from drugs (of various sorts), some from Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane.
- Oddball in the Series:
- The first game and it's console version start out similarly to the rest of the franchise, but delves into sci-fi Bond style games about a third of the way in, with mutants and, in the case of the console version, the main character gaining superpowers.
- Primal is a first-person open world action-adventure game rather than a shooter.
- While the series in general is set in "the real, modern world", some games throw out the rules and throw the player in a bizarre setting like the retrofuturistic dystopia of 2007 in Blood Dragon or the stone age in Primal.
- Blood Dragon sticks out even more, as among all the grim, stone-faced and often depressing settings the series is famous for, it's a cheesy, neon-drenched, tongue-in-cheek love letter to action films of the 80's and 90's.
- Far Cry 5 breaks away from the series' trend of settings foreign to a Western/American audience and is instead set in rural Montana.
- While all games in the series are ostensibly set in the same universe, New Dawn is a direct narrative sequel to 5 instead of merely thematic.
- Once per Episode: Starting with 4, each mainline game has a gag ending at the beginning of each game where you can simply walk away from the main story and avoid the rest of the game.
- In 4, if you do as Pagan Min says and wait for him to come back, he will thank you for your patience and answer a lot of questions it takes the main story several hours to get to. Roll Credits.
- In 5, you can choose not to arrest Joseph Seed at the start, and he'll allow you and your allies to leave unbothered.
- In 6, you can choose to take a boat and leave Libertad behind, giving you an epilogue of Dani relaxing on a Miami beach, while a news report mentions that Yara's rebellion has been quashed.
- Recurring Extra: Hurk Drubman Jr., a goofy redneck who first showed up in a DLC in 3 and has since gone on to show up in some form in other mainline games (including Primal as "Urki").
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: Both 4 and 5 have no real "good" endings, with all possible outcomes accomplishing very little in terms of making things better for anyone other than the baddies.
- Shared Universe: The series might possibly be set in the same continuity as Assassin's Creed and Watch_Dogs given that the third installment's DLC references Abstergo Industries and the Pieces of Eden.
- Sequel Logo in Ruins: While the original is already filled with holes, until 5 the logos for the games get progressively more ruined.
- Tropical Island Adventure: 1, 3 and 6 take place on fictional tropical islands, with the Rook Islands of 3 implied to be somewhere near Thailand, and Far Cry Instincts: Evolution takes place in Indonesia. The 6th game is set on the Caribbean-inspired large island of Yara.
- Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: Averted. The franchise is known for its incredibly effective flamethrowers, which are coupled with fire mechanics that tend to engulf nearby vegetation in flames rather rapidly.
- Villain-Based Franchise: Starting from the third game, the series began angling its advertising around each installment's villain, emphasizing their charisma and sociopathy. Their popularity is so great that by Far Cry 6 an entire DLC is centered around getting to play as the villains of the third to fifth games. Giancarlo Esposito lampshades this in a promotional video for 6.Giancarlo Esposito: Far Cry is known for its larger-than-life villains... [darkly] and this is a legacy I intend to honor.
- Worst Aid: The series has a memetic reputation for ridiculous patch jobs when healing wounds without a healing item. Starting from 2, the player can heal themselves by pulling bits of shrapnel out of their arms or setting dislocated joints back into place. In 2, this can even be used to heal damage caused by drowning.